Dental fears are fairly spread in the United States. In fact, between 9% and 20% of the population avoid the dentist out of anxiety. Of all the treatments that are available, root canals are amongst the most feared. If you have recently been told that you need a root canal, then you may be thinking about putting it off for a few weeks or a few months. But this can be a big mistake!
Keep reading to learn why.
Without a Root Canal Treatment Tooth Pain Will Increase
Many people associate root canals with pain. However, it is not the root canal that hurts, but the infection in your tooth. While a root canal is not entirely pleasant, it will stop the painful sensations coming from the tooth.
Most root canals are performed to treat dental infections. The infection occurs when the tissues inside your tooth, called the dental pulp, undergo trauma of some sort. Deep cavities as well as large cracks and chips can cause this trauma. The damaged area of the tooth then allows bacteria to gain access to the pulp. The tissues are consumed by the bacteria and an infection begins.
Infections are painful!
Dental infections cause pain in two different ways. The tooth hurts as pus builds inside the pulp chamber. This pus is a fluid that contains bacteria, white blood cells, and dead tissue. Pus places a great deal of pressure on your tooth, and the fluid continues to build until the infection is resolved. In other words, your immune system will continue trying to fight off the infection and pus will form in the process.
Pain is also a way for the dental nerve to indicate your tooth is in distress. As the infection moves through the pulp chamber towards the nerve, distress signals become more intense. You will feel the strongest pain signals when the infection reaches the tooth nerve. It is best to seek dental care before this happens.
Untreated infections May Lead to Endocarditis
You might know that infections can spread throughout the body. When this happens and bacteria travel to the heart, the condition is called endocarditis.
Endocarditis is a serious ailment that causes the lining of the heart to swell, and the infection can lead to serious and life-threatening heart damage. This kind of infection may not even be apparent right away. Nausea, joint pain, fever, and chills are a few symptoms that might occur and this means you will likely feel as though you have the flu.
Endocarditis is a rare type of infection, but it is linked directly to bacteria in the mouth. If you allow a dental infection to go untreated, then your chances of forming endocarditis will increase. If you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, or any other condition that places stress on the heart, then your endocarditis risks will be even higher.
Therefore, a root canal treatment is the best way to reduce your overall endocarditis risks.